Is it possible to view space without positioning humans in it? Humans – that is ourselves. Can we look at space in its purity without instinctively projecting human situations, relations onto it? Looking at the artworks, one might get the impression that the series examines the relationship between mankind and space given that the pictures depict solitary figures floating in vast spans of space. But as the concept of solitude describes the relationship between the individual and the outside world – i.e. the first person singular and them -, so do the figures in the pictures depict the relation between the individual and the outside world rather than that of mankind and space. Physical space is merely a segment of the world but the backgrounds depicted symbolise the outside world in a much broader sense.
All the photographs show humans in an artificial, man-built environment, which offers a number of possible associations: man versus building as small versus large, temporary versus permanent, living versus lifeless. The spacious buildings shown in the pictures provide the background to social relationships. Serving as social settings, they inherently require a certain set of behavioural patterns, a degree of self-control and adaptation of man, which will – in all cases – be coupled with a certain level of sacrifice. This is particularly true of the old buildings, whose venerable elegance, monumental character invoking ancient times and ancestors enhance the sense of pressure to display behaviour that is considered acceptable and desirable. Spaces thus become symbols of these restrictive conditions of belonging to a community, barriers of self-expression and self-assertion, and limitation on our independence. The figures depicted in the photographs are physically detached from every single corner of the given building serving as backgrounds as if freeing themselves from barriers of communal existence. Their relaxed posture, however, tells about their loneliness being a more deliberate and calm introversion, a kind of self-imposed temporary solitude rather than hopeless and aggressive isolation. They seem to be floating in a surreal freedom of their own making.
Frank Márta Éva
Floating no. 1-7
PHASE ONE P65+